Sunday, June 9, 2013

Train Them Up Right

So as I told everyone in my last blog, I'm working at a missions youth camp this summer. My job started back in January with calling volunteer organizations, rec centers, nursing homes, and everything in between to set up ministry sites for our track leaders. This was way more challenging than I thought it would be. For starters, I was only in the country 7 weeks the whole spring and the amount of unanswered phone calls I made began to stack up quickly. I started getting worried I would not be able to find enough sites for 22 people for the whole summer. But God is good and provides exactly what we need and in the time we need it.

So I was able to fill all of our sites very easily but close to the last minute as possible. Of courses challenges and roadblocks came but I knew God would place track leaders in the exact site they need to be at despite my incompetency.

Our whole staff arrived last Thursday, excited and ready to get started. We have an awesome and dynamic group of people who cannot wait to serve the Nashville community as well as the adult and campers they will encounter each week. I know God is going to do some great things here.

I survived my biggest hurdles this past week by some how filling 11 hours of evangelism and ministry training. That included first aid and going through all the ministry sites with the track leaders. They were real troupers and did an amazing job of listening to me for 4 hours a day.

Wednesday was our site luncheon. This has been my baby for a couple of months now. As I sent out invitations, arranged seating charts, bought decorations, and made sure as many of our site contacts were there as possible. There was a great turnout despite the bad weather. I praise the Lord for finally allowing me to see all those pieces come together as I passed off the ministry sites to the track leaders. In the afternoon all the track leaders were able to visit their sites and see where they would be working this summer.

Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go: even when he is old he will depart from it. 

Our entire staff has a huge responsibility this summer. We are training youth to go and make disciples by sharing the good news and hope of Jesus Christ. This is no small challenge nor should it ever be taken lightly. My job has been to train and equip our staff with the tools they need to pass on this knowledge of evangelism and ministry. I also have encouraged and reminded them that the campers they encounter this summer will be our future pastors, music ministers, mothers, fathers, and missionaries. We must start now equipping them for a world of sin and suffering. 
Not only will we be training them through evangelism but they will also get hands on experiences through tons of different opportunities ranging from painting, construction, and yard work and recreation centers to nursing homes and soup kitchens. Each and every person we will meet and build relationships with this summer are in need physically and emotionally, but even more importantly they have a spiritual need for hope, grace, and salvation through Jesus Christ. We live in a broken world and with that comes broken people. People (campers and our sites alike) who need healing and love to transform their lives unlike anyone else is able to do. That can only come through trusting in Jesus Christ as our redeemer and healer. Because in the long run, while helping meet physical needs like hunger, homelessness, abuse, or whatever the circumstances we need to make sure we understand that unless we are spreading the Gospel, planting seeds to hope, and taking the good news to others with a sense of urgency we are only making them more comfortable on their way to hell. Yes, you read that right, hell. I know that for some this may seem harsh but we serve a loving God who wants a relationship with us more than anything in the world. So share your story of how He has changed your life and the impact it has made in your life today. Be bold. Stand strong...and for heaven's sake.... Go!
A few of the verses we are using this summer to motivate students to serve, go, and tell are:

Romans 8:19-23
John 8:12
James 1: 22-25
Acts 1:8
Isaiah 6:8
Mark 16:15
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
John 20:21
Matthew 25: 35-40

So all of that was pretty serious and should be taken that way...doesn't mean I don't work for a summer camp, which means we have lots of time to goof off and have fun. Here are a few pics of what we've been up to this training week. I can't believe it's our last day of training! Pray for us as campers show up on Monday afternoon. We'll need all the prayer we can get because no matter how prepared we think we are... there will definitely be bumps and challenges throughout each week. I'll try to post a blog each week as we experience community and service together during our 7 week adventure!